Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Send a Problem Mini-math lesson - SIOP Math Tip

This math activity was one that I had used back in my 7th grade math teaching days. I had learned about it in a SIOP training.  I decided to try it with my 3rd graders today as a mini-lesson

Here is what you do:

1. Place students into pairs or triads.
2. Distribute two index cards or pieces of paper to each group.
3. Tell students in each group to make up a problem to be solved (e.g., a math equation, a word problem, a short answer question on any math topic), discuss it, and write it on their index card. They need to solve it as well on a separate card.
4. Model a sample problem for the class before the groups begin their work.
5. As groups write, circulate to check work and provide assistance.
6. When all groups finish, have each pass its problem to another pair or triad.

7. The groups then discuss and solve the problem they received.
8. Circulate and assist as needed.
9. Have student pairs or triads share out the problem they received and the solution. This could be done by students writing on the board and explaining, or if the problems are not too complicated, they could be shared orally. The group that wrote the problem can confirm or correct, as can the teacher afterwards.

SIOP features highlighted in this activity:
* Peer to peer interaction
* Adaptation of materials by students
* Meaningful usage of key vocabulary
* Learning strategy: problem-solving
* Higher-order thinking
* Clarification of the concepts in the L1 if students are grouped homogenously by language
* Application of content and language knowledge
* Integration of all four language skills

Have you used any SIOP methods in your instruction?


  1. Thanks so much for the amazing idea. I plan on using it tomorrow before our math test.

    TIPS: Teach, Inspire, and Prepare Students

  2. I hope it goes well for you! It is a great review!


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